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GSA Announces Winners for First Annual Citizen Service Award

WASHINGTON – USA Services, in the Office of Citizen Services at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), announced the three winners of their first annual Citizen Service Award today at the Interagency Resources Management Conference 2008 (IRMCO).

The USA Services Citizen Service Award was created to recognize federal agencies for excellence in customer service.  The winners demonstrated increased service performance, accomplishments in creativity with public outreach, realized cost savings, and/or innovative recruitment and training methods.  The award was judged by a panel of five that included representatives from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and USA Services and federal employees with communications and contact center experience.

“USA Services believes in continually improving the government’s service to the public,” said Martha Dorris, GSA Deputy Associate Administrator for Citizen Services.  “When this Administration asked government to be more citizen-centric, USA Services responded; these awards recognize those efforts by other federal agencies that have also answered the call.”  

The following winners were recognized:

First Place – Participant Assistance Program, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), U.S. Department of Labor – for efforts to help participants in employer-sponsored retirement and health plans extend their health coverage and obtain retirement benefits that were wrongly denied. As the program’s volume of electronic inquiries has risen, EBSA has increased the amount of benefits recovered for citizens – $96 million in 2007 alone – while EBSA’s staff size has remained the same.  EBSA uses public service announcements, press releases, radio appearances and appearances at plant closings to reach their audience, and continually educates congressional staff about their program.

Second Place – Recruitment OneStop: USAJOBS, U.S. Office of Personnel Management – for consolidating separate online federal government job application programs, resulting in cost savings to the government and time savings to citizens.  USAJOBS has saved the government over $25 million each year since its inception and continues to add time-saving features for users, such as the ability to store military records in users’ USAJOBS profiles.  USAJOBS’ efforts have led to increased applicants for open positions and a higher quality federal workforce.

Third Place - Cancer Information Service, National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – for the addition of English- and Spanish-language email and web chat functionality on www.cancer.gov.  The Cancer Information Service also consolidated 14 contact centers into three, realizing cost savings, while continuing to maintain a customer satisfaction score of 86 out of 100.  The Cancer Information Service engaged in creative outreach by producing a wallet card to help cancer patients reach their medical providers after Hurricane Katrina.

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GSA provides a centralized delivery system of products and services to the federal government, leveraging its enormous buying power to get the best value for taxpayers.
• Founded in 1949, GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 208,000 vehicles. 
• GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 425 historic properties, and as manager of USA.gov, the official portal to federal government information and services.
• GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and E-Gov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.
 
USA Services is housed in GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications. It serves citizens directly through USA.gov and other websites, the National Contact Center at 1 (800) FED INFO, and the Pueblo, Colorado publications distribution center. USA Services also plays a government-wide leadership role through the USA Contact Contract Vehicle, Web Manager University, and communities of interest for government contact center managers.  For more information about USA Services, visit www.USAServices.gov.

Did You Know? USA Services operated at a cost-per-touchpoint of 21 cents in 2007, exceeding the 26 cents goal that was set.